Ideal Stock For Enlarged Model?

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by bugman72, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. bugman72

    bugman72 Member

    I'm in the process of recoloring Shun-Pop's Star Wars AT-AT model and I'm planning on enlarging the pieces considerably. I won't have a problem in printing them, as I have access to a 36" wide inkjet plotter (HP 1050C). I have a friend that works at the local Kinko's who will be dry-mounting the four 31"x42" sheet (enlarged around 350% from original) to stock. My question is...what thickness of stock should I use?

    I don't know what to tell my friend when I bring the sheets up to him. Of course, I'm not exactly sure of what thickness of stock he has available. Does anyone have a general idea on what stock I should try to use?

    GEEDUBBYA Active Member

    Howdy Bug,

    Well, I am not sure what size you should use (thickness), but, If you are going to have 6" dia. feet on this monster, might I suggest you look at some matting type material that you can find at the local picture framing store. I recently went to my local framer and inquired about remnents or scraps, and was sent away with almost a liftime supply of material for formers and wing roots for most any model I wish to build. Some of the "remnants" I was give were apparently from large landscape mattings, almost poster size, on a model your size, and being that its fairly basic shapes, cylinders and rectangles, this type material would probbaly be perfect for the "body walls" and internal formers. However, this material is a little less than 1/8" thick and is not flexible enough for using where there are rounded bends needed.
    But this is just an idea I thought I would throw into the ring, check out the local framer or hallmark and ask about their matting scraps, if you cant use it on this project, trust me, you CAN use it on others if for nothing but formers.

  3. jleslie48

    jleslie48 Member

    well if your a NYC commuter on a metro north/NJT train, start gathering up those
    posters at the end of the cars. they are perfect. Old campaign lawn stake posters work great too.
  4. shrike

    shrike Guest

    Most campaign posters are made on coroplast these days. Its a rigid (sorta) plastic material with hollow 'ribs'. It will take a large diameter curve, but it has a serious grain to it. It's available in sizes up to 4' x 8' (in the US at least) and in several bright colours.

    (Guess who made signs for a long time)
  5. bugman72

    bugman72 Member

    Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I'm leaning towards matte board for most of the construction. I may end up doing sort of a mixed-media method on this one, meaning matte board for the most part, and then the smaller pieces that need to be curved into cylinders and compound curves use some 8x11 sheets of 110lb white card stock. I can isolate the pieces that need to be printed on the card stock fairly easy in AutoCAD.

    I assume that matte board can be scored and folded fairly easily? Do I need to cut a "V" groove on the back of the fold to facilitate the crease? I want to make sure that my friend doesn't have to do this more than once, since he probably won't be charging me anything to do it, or at the most, very little. I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, you know!

    GEEDUBBYA Active Member

    Howdy again Bug,

    As for folds and creases in matte board......the thickness of the matte board will really detemine the need for a cut, thinner matte wont, but as it gets thicker, unless you have a "mechanical" type bending method, one that will hold one side of the bend the full distance of the bend, and that will support the other side of the bend for the full distance of the bend, you may need a cut. Just try bending a small scrap piece, you can get a good idea of its properties in a bend when you do. If it "crinkles, try a cut on the back side then bend it again. I know this is awefully vague, but like I said it all depends on the thickness of the matte board.
    The matte board I have is less than 1/8" thick and the solid colored boards bend well, the two colored boards (ie... black one side, white the other) I have noticed some crinkling at times along the bend, but nothing of significance.

  7. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    There's a couple of properties of matte board which haven't been raised which might influence how you use the board.

    Matte boards are usually loaded with pigment - the white boards with titanium dioxide (I think) and the black boards with carbon black. This is so the framers can cut the boards to produce a clean bevelled edge. The pigment makes matte board much harder to cut than normal card. ( I think I saw someone (Lief Oh?) on this site use a scroll saw the cut formers from matte board ).

    The dark coloured boards seem much softer than the white boards - an effect of the pigment I think. Perhaps using black board for curved formers might give you better results than white board. The downside of black board is the mess you get when sanding it - carbon black everywhere.


  8. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    I stopped using matte board and pure illustrator board some time ago for several reasons number one was cost for the really good artist variety and the strength and stability was also not that great. I've found that the strongest and interestingly enough the lower cost varieties of illustrator board and mechanical board to be an improved solution for cardmodeling structures (Hint; Use the same stuff as professional architectural modelers use). The following is what I now use for these applications:

    1. Bainbridge 2000, Ruling Mechanical Board, 30 x 40 inches x 0.050 inches (1.33 mm) thick.
    2. Bainbridge 4000, Ruling Mechanical Board, 30 x 40 inches x 0.100 inches (2.66 mm) thick.
    3. Bienfang, Master Illustration Board, 20 x 30 inches x .052 inches (1.34 mm) thick.

    Top surface is smooth white paper. The core layers consist of chipboard with the backing layer some sort of fiber paper with manufacturers labels printed on it. The chipboard absorbs wood hardener readily and assembles into an impressively strong and long term stable structure.


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